Photographer Peter McKinnon recently published a short video explaining a technique that can help you make a better workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro when editing footage from a multi-camera setup.
We have been shooting using multi-camera setups for years but we usually choose the hard way of going over each footage and synching it. However, Premiere is offering a completely different (and much more practical way) which, if you haven’t used it so far, you should at least give it a try and see if it works for you.
First tip – make sure that you are recording sound on all the cameras that you want to sync (either with the built-in mic or with some external mic), clapping before you start shooting is always a good idea and can help you sync better – although Premiere built-in sync engine is actually quite capable on its own – just choose any number of clips shot from different angles at the same time and choose sync and select the sync using sound option).
The actual tip on this video start at 4:48 (although watching McKinnon talking about coffee is always fun). Now import and properly name your footage (just to make things more simple), if you recorded several clips on each camera that can be a bit more complex (you can use a naming scheme along the lines of “camera 1 scene 1” etc.). After everything is imported and named correctly, use the right click and choose: “create multi-camera source sequence” and sync based on audio in the dialog box and choose camera one for the audio (this will take the audio from camera one no matter which angle you use).
Now import the created sequence into the timeline. As you see there is only one camera angle here. To view all the different camera angles you shot you need to press an icon above the timeline (see McKinnon’s video around 7:00). When you click this icon you can see all the cameras at the same time and when you want to change the angle in the timeline click 1 on the keyboard for camera 1 or 2 for camera 2 etc. If you made a mistake press spacebar to stop, go to the part you want to change and press the number of the camera angle you want to change it to – and that is it!